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Additional Resources Imagine you went to sleep and woke up to a work day in How different is your work life today, compared to what it was 40 years ago? Clearly, there would not be a Starbucks on every corner or a cell phone in every pocket—but what else has changed and why?
In today's world, the structure, content, and process of work have changed. In today's world, you will also be working for an organization that is likely to be very different due to competitive pressures and technological breakthroughs.
This Resource Page explores the changing nature of organizations and work, the drivers behind the changes, and the consequences for workers and the workplace.
The Key Drivers for Changing Nature of Work Although many factors ultimately contribute to the changing patterns of work, organizational theorists point to two key drivers: Increasing pressures on organizations to be more competitive, agile, and customer focused—to be a "lean enterprise.
Changes in Organizational Focus: What does it Mean to be Lean? The Lean Enterprise model was introduced to the world by Toyota in the s. Since then, it has fueled changes in organizations across the globe, particularly—but not exclusively—in manufacturing and product development.
The key principles of Lean Enterprise or "lean thinking", as it is sometimes called are: Define value from the customer's perspective. Identify internal activities and processes that add value for the customer and identify linkages between them the "value chain".
Eliminate non-value added activities or "waste" across the organization. Reduce waste and inefficiencies in support e.
The lean enterprise principles enabled many organizations to respond more rapidly to the marketplace by reducing cycle time, developing mass customization processes, and supporting continual change and innovation.
Creating the Lean Machine: Changes in Organizational Structure and Relationships Adopting lean principles and lean thinking has led to numerous changes in organizational structure to improve the efficiency of internal processes, with a goal of eliminating waste and defining customer value.
These changes have been supported and enabled by transformations in information and communications technology, especially the Internet and mobile computing and communication devices.
Key organizational changes include: Reduced hierarchical structure—Hierarchies are cumbersome and cannot respond quickly to changing market demands, such as pressures for reduced cycle time and continuous innovation.
Hierarchies are being replaced by cross unit organizational groupings with fewer layers and more decentralized decision making. Blurred boundaries—As organizations become more laterally structured, boundaries begin to breakdown as different parts of the organization need to work more effectively together.
Boundaries between departments as well as between job categories manager, professional, technical become looser and there is a greater need for task and knowledge sharing. Teams as basic building blocks—The move toward a team-based organizational structure results from pressures to make rapid decisions, to reduce inefficiencies, and to continually improve work processes.
New management perspective—Workers are no longer managed to comply with rules and orders, but rather to be committed to organizational goals and mission. The blurring of boundaries also affects organizational roles. As employees gain more decision authority and latitude, managers become more social supporters and coaches rather than commanders.
Continuous change—Organizations are expected to continue the cycles of reflection and reorganization. However, changes may be both large and small and are likely to be interspersed with periods of stability.
Kling and Zmuidzinas identify three types of change—"metamorphosis" far reaching, fundamental change"migration" shifts toward a new formand "elaboration" changes that enhance some aspect of work.
How Work is Changing for Individuals and Groups Over the past two decades, a new pattern of work is emerging as the knowledge economy realizes the full potential of both new technologies and new organizational models.
The changes fall into the following domains: Cognitive competence The new "psychological contract" between employees and employers Changes in process and place Although these domains are discussed separately, they overlap.
We briefly discuss the overlaps, where they exist, and point to the benefits and concerns the new work patterns present for workers and managers. Cognitive Competence Cognitive workers are expected to be more functionally and cognitively fluid and able to work across many kinds of tasks and situations.
The broader span of work, brought about by changes in organizational structure, also creates new demands, including:Aug 19, · The kind of customer service, or "client service," if you prefer, required for high net worth individuals (HNWIs) is broadly similar to what's required to provide customer service and support to.
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